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Forgotten Islands of Papua New Guinea

Kavieng to Cairns12 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $9,940.00* PP

Board your charter flight from Cairns to begin a 12-night expedition weaving through remote islands that have witnessed history through millennia, from villages untouched by time to more recent artifacts at World War 2 battlegrounds. At Ataliklikun Bay, be aboard the first cruise ship ever to visit the village and watch the mesmerising Fire Dance of the Baining people. Tour the ghost town of Rabaul, the base for 110,000 Japanese troops during World War II. See the intact ‘zero’ fighter in the shallow waters of Deboyne Bay. Witness the traditional canoe building culture of remote Laughlan Atoll and hike to the Dei Dei hot springs. Interact with enthusiastic villagers at Kuiawa in the Trobriand Islands – the Islands of Love. Disembark in Cairns at the end of a fascinating journey through time.

  • See the famous Baining Fire Dance at Ataliklikun Bay, where men wearing enormous masks leap over the red-hot coals of a fire
  • Visit Jacquinot Bay in East New Britain and take an Xplorer cruise up the Tivoli River, known for its crystal clear waters
  • Visit remote Laughlan atoll, known for its canoe building culture
  • Spend two days in the rarely visited Louisiade Archipelago – a wonderland of volcanic and coral islands. Kayak in the crystal clear waters of the Calvados Islands
  • Visit the biological jewel that is Woodlark Island – home to at least 42 species that exist nowhere else on earth, including the Woodlark cuscus
  • Visit Kuiawa Island in the Trobriands – known as the ‘Islands of Love’
  • Hike to Dei Dei Hot springs and hear about its mythical legends from local guides



Optional Pre-Cruise Charter Flight: There is an options charter flight from Cairns International Airport departing 11:00am to Kavieng arriving 1:30pm. This flight will be approx. $1,500 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team to book.


Make your own way to the Cairns International Airport for check-in and charter briefing at 8:00am before joining the charter flight departing 11:00am. After the charter flight guests will be transferred from Kavieng Airport to Kavieng Hotel. Light finger food and refreshments provided. Sing Sing band welcome at hotel before a transfer to join the ship at 4:00pm before a 6:00pm departure. Settle into your cabin and relax as we set sail westwards towards New Hanover Sea. Join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Baining Fire Dance

In true expedition style, Coral Geographer will be the first cruise ship the village here has ever hosted! Take a nature walk and a tour of a local plantation to see copra production. In the evening witness the mesmerising Baining Fire Dance.


The Duke of York Islands consist of 13 rarely visited islands. These low-lying islands feature tranquil waterways reflecting lush rainforest landscapes, but are known for tectonic activity, and are threatened by rising sea levels. There is a robust bird population found in this remote region, with many species endemic to New Britain. This is a great snorkeling location.

Rabaul Harbour Volcano

Rabaul was the main stronghold of the Japanese during the war with 110,000 Japanese troops based there by 1943. The Japanese army dug many miles of tunnels as shelters from Allied air attacks and built army barracks and support structure. Rabaul is perched on the edge of a magnificent natural harbour ringed by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Rabaul used to be the provincial capital and most important town in the province before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1994, after which time the capital was moved to Kokopo. We will have the opportunity for a tour of Rabaul ghost town and Kokopo – including the War Museum.

Jacquinot Bay

Jacquinot Bay has fascinating  WWII history, including a significant Allied amphibious landing, and was a base for Australian operators during the war.  We will explore the large bay on the eastern Coast of New Britain Island. See the waterfalls and take a cruise of the Sivoli River, known for its crystal clear water.


Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriand Islands offer a glimpse of traditional cultures largely unspoiled by outside influence. In the morning, go ashore at the small island of Kuiawa to be greeted by enthusiastic traditional dances performed by colourfully costumed locals. Browse the market featuring local craftwork and relax on the pristine island beach in the afternoon.

CusCus TH

“Woodlark Island is a biological jewel—home to at least 42 species that occur nowhere else on Earth,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia.  Woodlark, also known as Muyua, has never been linked to the mainland. Like on other islands necklacing New Guinea and isolated in the rough waters of the Pacific ring of fire, Woodlark’s flora and fauna have been left to explore the farthest branch tips of the tree of life. The forty-plus endemic species are found on an island just a little larger than New York City, and include the Woodlark cuscus (Phalanger lullulae), an extravagantly coloured tree-dwelling marsupial that’s listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Rich in resources, including gold, the island is threatened by plans for commercial logging and mining. Over the past decade, Woodlark Islanders have defended their forests from resource exploitation from outsiders.

In this remote corner of the world, Laughlan Islanders specialise in canoe building. The friendly villagers of Bodaluna share their lifestyle of subsistence gardening, fishing, and Kula ring trading.  Later, snorkel or dive on the outer reef, where we may see turtles, wrasse, and spinner dolphins in the warm, clear waters.


The Louisiade Archipelago rainforests are home to a number of endemic species of frogs, lizards and birds. Deboyne Lagoon is a must-see for history buffs. Acting as a Japanese seaplane base for five days during WWII, one can find a nearly intact ‘Zero’ fighter plane in the shallow waters of Deboyne Lagoon. This is also an excellent place to snorkel, dive or kayak and the locals who greet you at the beach are friendly and welcoming. The Calvados Islands, a chain of atolls in the archipelago, is described as ‘Jurassic Like’ due to their steep limestone karsts. Panasia Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Papua New Guinea.

Day 10 PM Dei Dei (1)8

Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, where the people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs located at the base of an extinct volcano. Locals still use the hot springs to cook food in palm frond baskets. Learn of the history of the Kula Ring at Dobu Island and meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional song, and spend some time snorkeling in the Bubbling Springs Reef.

Samarai Island

Located off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea in the China Strait, choose to explore the colonial settlement of Samarai, with a chance to purchase pearls from a local pearl farmer, or go for a snorkel at nearby Ebuma Island.

Cairns wharf departure port

Our voyage ends in Cairns where we disembark Coral Adventurerat 9:00 am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew. Post cruise transfer to Cairns CBD hotels or the airport is included.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

Fares & Availability


Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

1 Available

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

3 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

1 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD). Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information


  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are travelling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

Visa and Health & Travel Information

Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months validity from the time the expedition commences, and two blank pages. Please email a scanned colour copy of your passport identification page to our team at [email protected] no later than 45 days prior to your departure.

Important: Please bring your physical passport with you on all international departures.

The travel advice information below is for Australian guests only. If you are a non-Australian passport holder travelling on these departures, please contact your relevant government department, embassy or your travel agent for applicable information.

Travelling guests are fully responsible for arranging their own health and visa requirements to travel abroad.

Papua New Guinea: Guests arriving into Papua New Guinea by air must apply for an Visitor Visas online at before traveling. This eVisa is at a cost of $50USD. We recommend this eVisa be completed from the 9 October 2023 onwards to ensure approval prior to cruise departure.

Australia: Yes, most citizens from countries other than Australia require a visa to enter Australia. There are a few exceptions, such as citizens of New Zealand, who can enter Australia without a visa for up to 3 months. You can find a list of countries that require a visa to enter Australia on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.  International guests can apply online or at an Australian embassy or consulate. The application process can take several weeks, so it is important to apply well in advance of your travel date.

Please see your doctor or travel clinic to plan any vaccinations you may need at least 8 weeks before you leave.

Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Customs and Excise Service (C&ES) is responsible for enforcing the customs and quarantine laws and regulations of Papua New Guinea. The C&ES works to protect the health and safety of the people of Papua New Guinea from harmful pests and diseases, and to ensure the fair and efficient trade of goods.

When arriving in Papua New Guinea, all passengers are required to complete a customs declaration form and submit to a customs inspection. The customs declaration form asks for information about the items that you are bringing into Papua New Guinea, including their value and quantity. The customs inspector may ask you to open your bags and suitcases for inspection.


For guests returning to Australia, all items go through customs  on arriving in Australia. Items containing seeds or unsealed wood may not be allowed in or may go through a period of quarantine.

We do not have currency exchange onboard. Guests are advised to exchange money into local currency prior to departure from their home port. Currency exchange and eftpos style point of sale is increasingly available in the regions we visit. We recommend carrying small denominations.

Papua New Guinea: Kina

Pre-cruise Flights: There is an options charter flight from Cairns International Airport departing 11:00am to Kavieng arriving 1:30pm. This flight will be approx. $1,500 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team to book.

Post-cruise Flights: Please ensure you have secured your own flights for your onward journey.

Pre-cruise:Make your own way to the Cairns International Airport for check-in and charter briefing at 8:00am before joining the charter flight departing 11:00am. After the charter flight guests will be transferred from Kavieng Airport to Kavieng Hotel. Light finger food and refreshments provided. Sing Sing band welcome at hotel before a transfer to join the ship at 4:00pm before a 6:00pm departure.

Post-cruise: Disembark Coral Adventurer at 9:00am in Cairns and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew. A post cruise transfers to Cairns CBD hotels or the airport is included.

More Information -PNG

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